EEI Honors FirstEnergy with Awards for Emergency Work

Steve Strah (left) accepted awards from EEI President Tom Kuhn at the organization's Board and CEO meeting January 10.

January 11, 2018

More than 600 FirstEnergy line workers and support personnel responded to large-scale power outages in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

For the 12th consecutive year, FirstEnergy has earned recognition for its emergency response efforts from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI).

FirstEnergy was honored with the “Emergency Assistance Award” as a result of sending more than 600 line workers and support personnel after Hurricane Irma caused wide-spread damage and large-scale power outages in Florida and South Carolina. Over a 15-day period in early September last year, company personnel were part of an effort that ultimately helped restore electric service to more than 4 million customers of Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Company and South Carolina Electric & Gas.

FirstEnergy also earned the “Emergency Recovery Award” for restoration efforts on behalf of its own customers following tornados and severe thunderstorms that caused nearly 350,000 homes and businesses in Pennsylvania and Ohio to lose power in early May 2017. Overall, more than 480 utility poles and 280 transformers were replaced, along with approximately 52 miles of wire. FirstEnergy crews restored about 95 percent of the affected customers within four days.

“Receiving both awards is a special honor because it means our employees used their considerable skills to benefit our customers, and those of other utilities,” says Steve Strah, senior vice president, FirstEnergy, and president, FirstEnergy Utilities. “Hurricane Irma was a historic storm that caused multiple challenges that our employees were able to overcome, including hazardous travel conditions, a heat index up to 110 degrees, and massive tree damage.”

EEI presents awards twice annually to member companies to recognize extraordinary efforts to restore power or for assisting other electric companies after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions and other natural events. Winners are chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process. The awards were presented Jan. 10 during the winter EEI Board of Directors and CEO meeting in Arizona.

“The tireless work by FirstEnergy crews during Hurricane Irma and during the thunderstorms and high winds in May exemplifies our industry’s commitment to customer service,” says EEI President Tom Kuhn. “FirstEnergy crews worked diligently to safely restore service to customers and are deserving of these awards.”